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Hermen Hulst on Bungie and what's next for PlayStation Studios (PS Blog)

kyliethicc

Member


Sid: So Hermen, it’s official – Bungie is joining PlayStation. Not exactly something I would have predicted a few weeks ago, but spectacular nonetheless.

Hermen: Exciting news, right? It’s a really good surprise. We like surprises. Let me just say that I’m so pleased that we could make this happen because Bungie is truly a world-class developer.

Sid: Yeah, absolutely. Just a legendary developer, really. I don’t think that’s overstating it. They’ve been around for a long time, about 30 years…. I was curious, what are some of the ways you’ve seen Bungie influence the gaming medium over the past few decades?

Hermen: It’s actually an amazing story, when you look at it. As you said, they’ve done many genres on many different platforms. And of course their work on Halo was phenomenal, in my mind some of the best shooters in history. Halo also had a very strong component. And then there’s Destiny, a series still going strong after eight years, I think. Many people have tried to build a successful live service, and failed. Because it’s really hard. So Destiny’s success is very special. I’m also impressed by the production values from them, in terms of technology, graphics, performance capture, sound and music…all of that is really top-class at Bungie.

Sid: They’re trailblazers. Halo: Combat Evolved — it’s been, what, 20-something years since that came out? But they laid the groundwork for first-person shooters on console, and a lot of those ideas have endured over that time, whether it’s grenades, melee, sticky aim was an innovation of theirs, having a recharging health bar… and all the things you pointed out with Destiny and the live service element, making this game that evolves over time. Very innovative studio.

Hermen: Yes, everyone in gaming knows that Bungie’s gameplay is one of the benchmarks. It always feels fluid, it’s always very responsive, easy to pick up and hard to put down. They’ve either started or perfected so many innovations in their games. I follow their design choices very closely since, obviously as you know, I was working on Killzone while Bungie was developing Halo.

Sid: Moving forward, how do you see PlayStation Studios partnering with Bungie? Do you envision a close working relationship with them?

Hermen: Absolutely. And obviously it’s still early, the deal itself needs to be finalized before we can officially start discussing detailed collaboration. But I’ve spent a lot of time with folks like Jason Jones and Pete Parsons, and some of the senior team over at Bungie. And let me tell you that everyone’s very excited for Bungie and PlayStation Studios to share ideas, share some of our battle scars as well. And really, just learn from each other.

Sid: Sounds like a dynamic time to be a game designer at PlayStation. With all this news, the last 12 months for PlayStation Studios has been really interesting with interesting Housemarque and Bluepoint and others… kind of a crazy time.

Hermen: Well, exciting times. We have a few very good months coming up for PlayStation fans. Horizon Forbidden West is only a few weeks away. I’ve been playing it for a while now, and it’s everything that I know Guerrilla wanted it to be. We actually began the game back when I was still at Guerrilla, and I’m just amazed at the scope, the depth, and the sheer quality that the team has achieved. You know, I think they’ve actually gotten a bit better since I left them, so really proud of that team.


And in March, we will have Gran Turismo 7. And there’s a State of Play about to hit, so later today you’ll be able to see a lot more of this game. I know that GT fans have been waiting to see what Polyphony can do on PS5, and I think they’re going to be quite happy with that.

It’s beautiful, as you would expect. But I’m really impressed with how Polyphony has used the DualSense controller. We all know that Kazunori [Yamauchi] is fanatical about recreating that driving experience for players. In that context, the DualSense is just perfect.

And then there’s MLB The Show 22 in April, of course. We gave an update on MLB The Show this week unveiling our cover athlete, the amazing Shohei Ohtani. We also announced that this year, MLB The Show will be on Nintendo Switch, as well as PS4, PS5, and Xbox. San Diego Studio is doing such a great job on this series, it just keeps getting better.

Sid: Thanks for joining us – always a pleasure to hear from you!

Hermen: Thanks for having me, Sid.


 
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Honestly, those those fast food Sonic commercials where everyday normal people talk about french fries in their parked cars are more entertaining than this.
 
The more i think about this, the more i think we're getting a Sony show until April.
He literally just mentioned Horizon, GT7 and MLB.
 

Abriael_GN

RSI Employee of the Year
Suck there doesn't seem to be any new info in that interview. I'm interested in what Bungie and PS studios come up with.

I mean, this isn't really an "interview" and we can't really expect a blog belonging to the company to offer super-deep commentary beyond the strict PR spiel. Personally, I wouldn't have the gall to call a 5 minute exchange an "interview" at all.

It's basically just a reminder that Sony is acquiring Bungie (you wouldn't want it to be in the news only for one day, right?) and that there is a GT7 state of play tonight. Par for the course.
 
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tmlDan

Member
... and answers every softball question with vague platitudes. 😂
it's that PR guy over his shoulder with the script.

Sony is no diff from MS when it comes to revealing soft blows to peoples expectations on exclusivity and the real plan.
 

mansoor1980

Gold Member
sony keeping an eye over hermen it seems
 

SLB1904

Member
Yes...and they didn't reveal or release anything during the fall. But we know they have stuff planned for later this year.
That said, we got that great Horizon State of Play in June.
i mean like a big event where we gonna see spidey gameplay, but again that could come sooner, like horizon state of play
 
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saintjules

Member
Yes...and they didn't reveal or release anything during the fall. But we know they have stuff planned for later this year.
That said, we got that great Horizon State of Play in June.

I forgot about that. So I guess we may not get other event leading up to release surrounding gameplay mechanics I'm assuming.

Edit: Thinking again, they probably could in the form of it's own showcase.
 
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I doubt it comes out this year
I can't imagine Sony wasting that TLOU hype this year with the TV show.

We already have some sources saying the remake is close to being done. It's been in development since like 2018...4 years for a remake is more than enough. For Factions, we even have some leaked footage from 2020. It's been 2 years.

I really can't imagine Sony releasing God of War by June (whenever its released) and calling it a day for new releases this year...but who knows. We'll see.

With Jim saying they will have 10 live service games by 2026...i can't imagine they will start releasing them in 2023. That would be between 2 and 3 of those games released per year if they start to release them by 2023.

That said..."what's next" from their studios (which is what the topic is about) is already more than enough. Horizon this month and Gran Turismo next month...plus i still have the Uncharted Collection from last month to play, i'm set with Sony games until like june, lmao.
 

tmlDan

Member
Why do people have to shit on everything? It's a blog post. What did you expect him to reveal? If you went into expecting some big news that is on you.
I think people just want to know what this means for the future.

Instead he gave the proper business PR response with "we haven't finalized the deal, more to come"
 

kyliethicc

Member
I can't imagine Sony wasting that TLOU hype this year with the TV show.

We already have some sources saying the remake is close to being done. It's been in development since like 2018...4 years for a remake is more than enough. For Factions, we even have some leaked footage from 2020. It's been 2 years.

I really can't imagine Sony releasing God of War by June (whenever its released) and calling it a day for new releases this year...but who knows. We'll see.

With Jim saying they will have 10 live service games by 2026...i can't imagine they will start releasing them in 2023. That would be between 2 and 3 of those games released per year if they start to release them by 2023.

That said..."what's next" from their studios (which is what the topic is about) is already more than enough. Horizon this month and Gran Turismo next month...plus i still have the Uncharted Collection from last month to play, i'm set with Sony games until like june, lmao.
There's still no official source saying the show is this year either.
 

kyliethicc

Member
The show is later this year. They wrapped production last year and HBO isn’t going to sit on a finished show that long.
Nope. They're still casting and still currently shooting.

Production isn't gonna be over for months.

They're just now adding directors for some episodes.




 
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ManaByte

Member
Nope. They're still casting and still currently shooting.

Production isn't gonna be over for months.

They're just now adding directors for some episodes.




No they wrapped in November.
 

kyliethicc

Member
Yes. They began filming the series in August and wrapped in November. It doesn’t take six months for the first season. Normally it’s about a week per episode.
They're literally still filming lol.

This was a few weeks ago.



They're filming fall scenes still in January.

 
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ethomaz

Banned
Well one thing you can really say...

Everybody tried to build it own Destiny but only Bungie archived it.
We have failures in all side.
Destiny going strong.

Against the "majority" of GAFers (like they lie to themselves) Bungie was the only studio to make it right.
 
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kyliethicc

Member
ManaByte ManaByte BTW, they've always said the shoot would last from July 2021 to June 2022.

"HBO’s hotly-anticipated video game adaptation The Last of Us has been announced to be starting production this coming July in Calgary, as per the Director’s Guild of Canada (via CBC). It’s going to be a long shoot, too. Cameras are set to start rolling on July 5 of this year and are scheduled to wrap almost a year later on June 8, 2022. That’s a lengthy schedule for an episodic TV series and just goes to show that HBO is pulling out all of the stops to ensure that The Last of Us will be appointment viewing when it eventually premieres —which might not be until mid-2023 based on that filming schedule."



"The guild lists The Last of Us — which will star Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian and Bella Ramsey of Game of Thrones — as starting production in the province on July 5, and wrapping up on June 8, 2022."

 
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Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
I didn't make this post in haste because I wanted to be completely sure I knew what I was talking about before discussing this topic. Here are the OG Halo devs that are still working for Bungie.
Jason Jones - Does he even make games anymore? After Halo 2 he stopped getting actively involved in game development and took the role of studio management. But in 2013 he scrapped the original version of Destiny because it was "too linear", made a team called "Iron Bar" lead by Christopher Barrett to release the Year 1 version of Destiny. After that he let others like Luke Smith lead the game and resigned himself from game development again.
Joseph Staten is the guy who wrote the story for Bungie Halo games and also the cinematic director. He has been the creative director for 343i since August last year.
He left Bungie because his version of Destiny was scrapped and instead we got a mess in 2014.
The new writers that were bought in after the original writing team left preferred Staten's original story and put it in the Grimoire Cards. A lot of the leaks from the original version of Destiny coincide with revelations in Shadowkeep, so the story is still being based on some lore blueprint left behind by Staten. The backstory of Savathun(antagonist of Witch Queen) was first provided in Book of Sorrows and it also hinted about "The Final Shape" which is supposed the last expansion of Destiny 2 and is supposedly where the original 10 year story ends.
Michael Salvatori - While Halo's music is attributed Marty O'Donell, many iconic tracks like A Walk In The Woods had the involvement of Michael Salvatori providing assistance to Marty. Michael Salvatori appeared in many interviews alongside and acted as his assistant.
I have the flac version

Get it before it gets taken down. This shit is god tier even if you don't play Destiny.
I liked Destiny 1 music more than Destiny 2 music(but Destiny 2 music had its moments). Destiny 1 music had this "mysterious tone" that Destiny 2 lost and was more focused in "heroism". Bungie used Marty's Music of the Spheres in Destiny 1 without crediting him which led to lawsuits. I see a lot of the OG Halo devs like Marty, Marcus Lehto(designed the original prototype of Destiny) or Joe Staten never mention Destiny but happily talk about Halo.
Christopher Barrett - Not involved with Destiny since Rise of Iron. Has been working on a new IP.
Lars Bakken - Halo 3 Multiplayer Designer and Halo Reach Co-op lead
Tyson Green - aka Ferrex
Chris Butcher - Management and overseeing new IP
Ben Wallace - Seems to be working with Chris Butcher
Zach Russell - QA/Programming and Tech
These four joined after they left Microsoft and the OG trilogy, had minor roles in ODST/Reach but major roles later in Destiny
Alex Pfeiffer - Designer in Halo ODST/Reach. Now Design Lead.
Derek Carrol - Credited as a multiplayer designer in Halo Reach and "... And the Rest of the Bungie Crew" in ODST. Now Senior Designer.
Mark Noseworthy - Engineering Producer at Halo Reach, but was already Gameplay and Campaign preproducer in Destiny at the time. Now Vice President.
James Tsai - Designer of Firefight in Halo Reach. Now Director of Witch Queen.

These people were not Halo devs but still part of old Bungie studio.
Pete Parsons - Then Studio Head, now CEO. Had the same role that Bonnie Ross now does at 343i.
Luke Smith - Every Destiny fan knows this guy. He was originally a freelance writer for Kotaku and then a news editor at 1up.com. He was known for his lengthy article focusing on problems in Halo 2. He joined Bungie in 2007 as a for writing the Bungie.net content updates. He became a Design Lead in Destiny and Game Director in Destiny 2.
LinkedIn mentions 1154 people working in Bungie. So barely 1% of the OG Halo crew is still working in Destiny. Not a single person from the OG writing team has remained, although quite a few engineering/tech leads are here. Its very disingenuous to try to pretend you have the "original developers of Halo who launched the Xbox" without any of the recognizable names like Joseph Staten, Marcus Lehto, Marty O'Donell or Max Hoberman(I get Jason Jones, but he has resigned himself from game development anyway). This is the same as "Back 4 Blood - from the creators of Left 4 Dead". I see people in twitter or even here believing that the original creators of Halo are making the next big thing(some even think it would be as popular as GTA or Fortnite). I can't see Bungie making a new original sci fi IP with lore on par with Halo or Destiny without there original writing team. It would be embarrassing if their next IP is marketed as "from the creators of Halo", with Destiny it made sense since some were still around till Destiny 1 launch.
And people speculate about how Bungie will be handled comparing them with Rare, how not much of the OG Rare crew is still present but Bungie will be different. But they already are in a position worse than Rare hardly retaining anyone from the OG team.
 
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